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The Black Irish Onscreen

Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and Television

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Zelie Asava

This book examines the position of black and mixed-race characters in Irish film culture. By exploring key film and television productions from the 1990s to the present day, the author uncovers and interrogates concepts of Irish identity, history and nation.
In 2009, Ireland had the highest birth rate in Europe, with almost 24 per cent of births attributed to the ‘new Irish’. By 2013, 17 per cent of the nation was foreign-born. Ireland has always been a culturally diverse space and has produced a series of high-profile mixed-race stars, including Phil Lynott, Ruth Negga and Simon Zebo, among others. Through an analysis of screen visualizations of the black Irish, this study uncovers forgotten histories, challenges the perceived homogeneity of the nation, evaluates integration, and considers the future of the new Ireland. It makes a creative and significant theoretical contribution to scholarly work on the relationship between representation and identity in Irish cinema.
This book was the winner of the 2011 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Irish Studies.

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abortion 57, 59, 66 Abrahamson, Lenny 70–73, 116 see also Prosperity, What Richard Did, Adam and Paul Adam and Paul 16, 28, 116, 124 Adebari, Rotimi 2, 3 Adebayo, Mosjisola 74 Adigun, Bisi 74, 79, 177 African 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13–14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22–23, 25–31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 42, 49, 50–51, 59, 67–78, 80, 81, 86, 88, 93, 102, 104, 106, 107, 111, 113–114, 116, 117–118, 120–121, 125, 127, 131, 157–160, 174, 176, 177, 180 African-American 5, 22, 23, 30, 36, 37, 42, 50, 80, 86, 93, 102, 106, 107, 113, 114, 157, 176 African Experience, The 67 Ahmed, Sara 52 Akpotor, James J. 143, 177 see also Between the Canals, Cactus Ali, Muhammad 70, 105 Ali, Suki 11, 14, 15, 27, 52, 182, 184 Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin 12 American 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 14, 16, 20, 22–24, 26, 27–30, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 42, 46, 48–50, 52, 54, 67, 80, 86, 93, 98, 102–107, 111–112, 114, 134, 141, 146, 148, 157, 159, 162–165, 176, 183 Angel 45 Anzaldúa, Gloria 13, 45, 46, 122 Asava, Zélie 13, 43 Asian 14, 18, 20, 77, 98, 174, 175 As If I Am Not There 172 atavism 117, 118, 138 Bachleda, Alicja 139 Bakhtin, Mikhail 179 Barton, Ruth 142, 53, 93, 94, 129, 138, 145, 153 BBC (British Broadcasting Corpora- tion) 29, 37, 73, 83, 148 Behan,...

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